Nursing Home of the Future Looks...Homey
Last updated:November 01, 2011
Anyone who's felt disheartened in a large, institutional nursing home might applaud a quiet trend in long-term care facility development: the homey nursing home. Laurie Tarkan in the New York Times describes the de-institutionalized Green House concept of Green Hill Retirement Community, a nursing home and assisted living facility in West Orange, New Jersey.
Examples are popping up all over the U.S. Just 10 residents live in each Green House, which opens into a traditional living and dining area and features an open kitchen, front porch, and back deck. There are no nursing stations or food trays, no rigid schedules, and two certified nursing assistants share bathing, cooking, laundry, and personal care, rather than having narrowly defined jobs.
Not surprisingly, research shows that staff and residents alike prefer this model -- though how well it translates to large-scale execution is unknown. Day-to-day costs are the same as regular nursing homes but there's an initial high cost to create this very different infrastructure. (Hmm, maybe a future use opportunity for the boomers' empty McMansions?)